Valerian – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  July 21, 2017
Rating:  PG-13
Run Time:  2 hours 17 min
After Credit Scene:  NO
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  6.2 out of 10


What you need to know:  The full title of this movie is, “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.”  Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and his partner Laureline (Cara Delevingne) must track down those who are threatening the city of a thousand planets known as Alpha.

What works:  Beautiful backgrounds and imagery.  Visually the film has a stunning color pallet.  Very interesting creatures and worlds.  The soundtrack was good as well.  The costumes and special effects steal the show.

What doesn’t work:  Lets by shortening down the title to just, “Valerian.”  Then, lets cut 30 – 45 min from the movie.  Although I did not view the film in 3D, clearly there are scenes that are intentionally included specifically for the 3D effect.  When not seeing the film in 3D, these scenes just add fluff that extend the run time of the movie with adding little substance.

When watching the film, you will get flavors of Men In Black, Star Trek, Star Wars, Avatar, The Fifth Element, etc.  The three creatures that sell information are a cross from the worms in MIB and the Ferengi from Star Trek Deep Space 9.  The ship belonging to Valerian has a Millennium Falcon feel.  There is a trash compactor type scene that clearly resonates with Star Wars.  The multidimensional market place feels like something from The Fifth Element or Bladerunner.  The “Mull” race look very similar to the race in Avatar.  I could go on, but when the movie tags the line that it is a movie unlike anything you’ve seen, well, give me something that doesn’t pull from so many films.

Ethan Hawke has a small role that is over the top and as quickly as he is introduced, he is dismissed.  Herbie Hancock is in the film, but why?  Rihanna is in the film only to showcase her singing and dancing talents, certainly it isn’t for her acting skills.  Dane DeHaan plays the role of Valerian and I swear I felt he was trying to be Keanu Reeves with his delivery and tone.  Valerian is this playboy-esc character who tries to convince Laureline that he is committed to her and wants to marry her.  This feels so contrived and silly that I can only attribute this to appeal to adolescents.

I could continue with what didn’t work for me, but I’ll stop here.

Summer of 2017 hasn’t given me many duds, but this is one of them.  I think tweens will enjoy the film and if you are into 3D movies, this may be a movie to catch on a rainy day.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets a 6.2.  It may be worth seeing in 3D if you are going to see it at all.

Did you see the film?  Tell us your opinion below.

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